Particle Physics Used to Find Hidden Chamber
In 2016, muon detectors revealed two hidden cavities in Egypt’s biggest and most enigmatic pyramid. The next step is the exploration of the interior of the huge structure.
In late 2016, scientists armed with high-tech particle detectors discovered two unknown chambers on the north and north eastern sides of the 146-m-high Great Pyramid of Giza. The exploration of the two chambers has only just begun, but provisional data indicates that one chamber winds into a corridor, which leads further into the interior of the pyramid.
The discovery was made by means of muon tomography. Muons are elementary particles, which are produced, as cosmic radiation from space enters Earth’s atmosphere. The particles pass through soft materials such as skin and tissue, whereas hard objects such as rocks absorb them to some extent. During the experiment, scientists managed to spot high concentrations of muons in specific places under and beside the pyramid – indicating that the particles had escaped the rocks relatively easily due to cavities.
The results will be included in a 3D reconstruction together with laser scans and infrared studies to help scientists explore the interior of the Great Pyramid of Giza. POTENTIAL: Discovery of new chambers and corridors. CHALLENGE: The mounting of detectors could harm the pyramid.